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Live Review: 2019 Montreal Jazz Festival, Week 2

A jam-packed weekend opened the 40th edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival, with inspiring performances by luminaries and rising stars such as pianists Chucho Valdés and Brad Mehldau, and saxophonist Melissa Aldana (see JazzTimes review here). With six more days ahead, July 1—Canada Day—was a microcosm of what was to come, with music for every palate: … Read More “Live Review: 2019 Montreal Jazz Festival, Week 2”

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Kendrick Scott Oracle: We Are the Drum

We Are the Drum would be worth its sticker price just for Lizz Wright sigh-singing the beautiful, melodically off-kilter ballad “This Song in Me.” But the third album by drummer Kendrick Scott’s quintet Oracle has 10 more lovely tracks, each built with a delicacy that imbues even the few uptempo tunes with gentleness. “Synchrony,” for … Read More “Kendrick Scott Oracle: We Are the Drum”

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Walter Smith III: Still Casual

Tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III assembles a stellar cast of collaborators here, all of whom he has played with in various constellations: Taylor Eigsti (piano), Matthew Stevens (guitar), Harish Raghavan (bass), Kendrick Scott (drums) and guest Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet), who appears on three tracks. Focused on composition, the album consists of 10 originals written with … Read More “Walter Smith III: Still Casual”

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